Biography of Hugh P. Brown
Louisa County, IA Biographies





Hugh P. Brown, whose well directed efforts and earnest labor in past years now make it possible for him to live in retirement, enjoying in well earned rest the fruits of his former toil, was for a long period actively and successfully identified with agricultural pursuits in Iowa. He was born in Union county, Indiana, on the 15th of January, 1835, a son of Mathew and Julia (Brumage) Brown, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Virginia. They were of German and English extraction respectively and were married in Indiana in 1827, that state remaining their home for a number of years. Both are now deceased, the father's death occurring in 1844 and the mother passing away in 1893. In their family were seven children but only four now survive: Hugh P., of this review; N. J., a resident of Dallas county, Iowa; Thomas M., a retired farmer of Letts;. and Emily, the widow of Sidney Davis, of North Bend, Wisconsin.

Spending the period of his early life on his father's farm, the educational advantages of Hugh P. Brown were limited to those offered by the district schools of his native state, but by subsequent reading, experience and observation he has since greatly extended his general knowledge. He had attained the age of sixteen years when the desire to enter the business world on his own account caused him to leave the parental roof and he took up his abode on rented land, in the operation of which he was engaged for several years. He then became an independent farmer through the purchase of forty acres in Louisa county, which remained his home for a short time, after which he sold that tract and invested in another in Ringgold and Decatur counties, consisting of four hundred acres. This also remained in his possession but a brief period and at its sale brought him four thousand dollars. His next venture was the purchase of a sawmill in Muscatine county, and in its conduct he was successfully engaged for nine years, after which, in 1866, he sold his machinery and bought a ferry on the Cedar river. He operated the same for fifteen years, or until just prior to the building of the bridge at that point, when he traded it for a tract of four hundred and seventy six acres of good land in Muscatine county. This he farmed for nine years or until 1894, when he disposed Of it and purchased one hundred and seventy acres, also located in Muscatine county. This remained his home for Only two years when he removed to Letts, his many years of close application and unfaltering industry in the management of his various affairs making it possible for him to withdraw from active life. He has not severed his connection entirely with the business world, however, for he still owns forty acres of this farm, to the operation of which he yet gives his supervision, although he leaves the actual work to others. The remainder of the property is now owned by his son, who is associated with him in his agricultural interests.

Mr. Brown was married, December 31, 1855, to Miss Nancy J. Lee, a native of Ohio, in which state her parents, Richard and Nancy J. (Ward) Lee, were also born. Her father, who was of Irish descent, died in Ohio, and in 1853 her mother brought the family to Iowa, locating two miles west of Letts in Louisa county, and here her death occurred. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brown have been born four children, namely: Laura, who was born on the 16th of October, 1856, and is now the wife of William M. Griffin, of Letts; Elnora, born October 22, 1858, who married Thomas E. Norris, of Nichols, Iowa; Cordelia, born November 3, 186o, who wedded George W. Hankins, of Cedar township, Muscatine county; and Guy W., born April 27, 1875. who is now living with his father in Letts. He married Miss Clara B. Hidlebaugh, who was born in Louisa county, Iowa, on the 18th of November, 1875, a daughter of Alec and Lucinda (Wagner) Hidlebaugh, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Louisa county, Iowa, their marriage occurring in this county. Mr. Flidlebaugh engaged in farming until. his retirement, in 1899, since which time he has resided in Letts. In his family are eight children, namely: Cora, the wife of H. H. Fullerton, of Muscatine county; Mary, who married William Rhyner, of Letts; John C., of Grand View, Iowa; William, residing in Muscatine county; Mrs. Guy W. Brown; Nettie M., of Muscatine county; and Nellie C. and Harry A., both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Guy W. Brown now have one child, Vera F., who was born on the 26th of February, 1899.

The political views of Hugh P. Brown are in accord with the principles of the democratic party, and while he has no desire for political preferment he keeps thoroughly informed concerning the questions and issues of the day, and is loyal and public spirited in his citizenship. His has been a long and honorable life, characterized by well directed effort and earnest endeavor, and now, at the age of seventy six years, he is spending the evening of his days in comfortable retirement, content with the thought that he has used his opportunities to good advantage and lived his life to good purpose.

From:
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1912


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